Sunday, May 31, 2009

What I'm Reading Now: The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings (1981)

"We are not aware of our own folklore any more than we are aware of the grammatical rules of our language. When we follow the ancient practice of informally transmitting "lore" - wisdom, knowledge, or accepted modes of behavior - by word of mouth and customary example from person to person, we do not concentrate on the form or content of our folklore; instead, we simply listen to information that others tell us and then pass it on - more or less accurately - to other listeners."

-Jan Harold Brunvand, The Vanishing Hitchhiker (W.W. Norton & Company, 1981, page 1).


  1. love me some brunvand.

  2. John, I studied under Dr. Brunvand in several classes at the University of Utah. Thanks to him, I am constantly annoying my friends and family by denouncing all the crap they email me as obvious urban legends and bits of folklore!

    I looking forward to reading your impressions when you finish the book...

  3. George: I'm loving me some Brunvand too.

    And Jason -- wow -- you were his student! That's so cool! I wish I could attend some of his lectures...